In 1895, Schwinn was founded by German-born Ignaz Schwinn. Ignaz was an electrical engineer in Chicago.
Ignaz Schwinn was born in Hardheim, Baden, Germany in 1860. He worked on an early age of two-wheelers which led to the creation of the bicycle during the 19th century. Schwinn then emigrated to the United States in 1891 and went to Chicago. Later in 1895, being in America for a few years, he found a German-American Adolph Frederick William Arnold. With Arnold, Schwinn created Arnold Schwinn & Company. Schwinn’s companion, Arnold, was a big financial asset for Schwinn. Arnold completely backed Schwinn. The reason they formed their new company was to compete in the bicycle craze. Chicago became the super center of the American bicycle industry, this gave Arnold Schwinn & Company a major advantage. The United States then grew to over a million units per year in the output of bicycles.
The bicycle boom was not long lasting. Automobiles and motorcycles quickly overcame bicycle consumers. This caused bicycle manufacturing companies to go out of business. There were only 12 bicycle companies left by 1905. Schwinn then realized he had to grow his company outward. As a result, he purchased a few small bicycle firms. He then went on to build a gigantic factory on the west side of Chicago to mass produce bicycles at a lower cost. The Arnold Schwinn & Company moved it’s sights from bicycles and instead looked to make motorcycles. By 1928, Schwinn’s motorcycle manufacturing was third in the nation, behind Indian and Harley-Davidson.
In the 1920s Arnold Schwinn & Company was facing bankruptcy, due to the stock market crash. Ignaz’s son, Frank W. Schwinn (F.W. Schwinn), invented a bicycle model that could be produced at low cost. This gained the Schwinn company acknowledgment as innovators. This low-cost bicycle model sold even in the downturn of business cycles. The model was called the B-10E Motorbike, an imitation bicycle made to look like a motorcycle. The imitation motorcycle was aimed towards the youth. A year or so later, the model was renamed the Aerocycle. By the time the 1950s came around, Schwinn bikes were being sold almost anywhere you could sell a bicycle.
Schwinn Bike Models
This style of bicycle has a classy look. It is meant for comfortable and simple bike riding, like riding on the beach.
Road model bikes are built for speed and exercise. This model is perfect for any distance.
The hybrid models offer speed and comfort. They are suited for the rider who prefers casual and fitness riding.
Urban models are meant for urban areas. This model is meant to look flashy as well as provide a convenient way to commute.
This bike is built for casual riding and good for riding over all surfaces.
These models are kid-friendly. They provide the basic needs for a child riding a bicycle.
The Mountain models offer a rugged bike with a tough frame. This bike excels in rough or rocky terrain. But this bike can easily ride over any surface.
This nifty bike model offers a faster way to commute.
Schwinn has sponsored many riders, events, and teams. One of the first teams Schwinn sponsored was led by Emil Wastyn. This team competed with riders such as Russell Allen and Jerry Rodman in a 6-day race across the United States. On 17 May 1941, Alfred Letourneur was able to beat the world speed record for a bicycle. Letourneur was riding a Schwinn bicycle and reached 109mph. Schwinn not only provided a great, trustworthy bicycle brand but they also made it through many hardships, the depression being one of them.